Inside Real Estate: Drone etiquette and backyard chickens

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Authorities recommend that pet birds be vaccinated against Avian Pox
Image by Risteski Goce
Image by Risteski Goce

Drone Etiquette
My neighbor’s teenage son flies his drone over my backyard. Normally, they can’t see into my windows, but I can see the drone hovering and if I can see it, then he can see me. What can I do? This is ridiculous. —Stan from Van Nuys

Welcome to a 21st century problem, Stan! First choice would be for you to just walk outdoors in your bathrobe to ask your neighbor, in a gentlemanly way, to direct his son’s drone elsewhere. That’s always the best self-help method and, surprisingly, it’s perfectly legal.

Barring that tactic, you could (1) Shoot it. Legally speaking, this isn’t ideal because shooting at something might be against the law since it’s not threatening you with bodily harm. Plus if you shoot, and you’re a pathetic shot, you may miss and cause injury to others. That would be bad! (2) Send a specially trained bird (think Hawk or Falcon) to intercept the drone. Or (3) Close your blinds. The attack bird might be expensive and closing the blinds will just make you feel like a prisoner in your own home.

If none of the above seems economically feasible or practical, you can file in court to obtain an injunction and for invasion of privacy. You should seek the advice of a skilled attorney if you choose to go that route. Don’t expect to make big bucks for the invasion of privacy unless you’re a celebrity or if the invasion is particularly egregious, like the drone takes a video of you naked and the teenager uploads it to the Internet under the title, “Check out Stan from Van Nuys.”

backyard_chicken_hen_greenair
Image by Greenair

Urban Chickens
I live in the Palms area and want to get some chickens. Not many, just a few. My friend said that I can’t put a chicken coop in my backyard without first getting a city permit or checking with neighbors. Can I get chickens without doing all that and if I’m caught, what happens? –Maddie from Palms

You didn’t say if you want the chickens to lay eggs or to chop up for dinner. Hopefully it’s the former. Slaughtering chickens is regulated so you definitely would not be able to do that in Palms (L.A. County) without a permit and, frankly, you won’t get one in an urban neighborhood. To keep egg-laying chickens in your backyard, you just need to follow the city rules as to distances, notice, and maximum number. Check out these links for more in-depth information:
PDF of Los Angeles County Code Title 10: Animals
KCET article: Chicken in the City: Is Yours Up to Code?
Los Angeles Urban Chicken Enthusiasts

If you get chickens, you should know that they can be noisy at times; they cluck loudly whenever they lay eggs. Loud, of course, is relative, but it’s extremely unlikely that your immediate neighbors are not going to notice. So, if your neighbors are chill, then you shouldn’t have any problems. On that note, I suggest you keep the neighbors chill by bringing them some of the eggs every now and then. I’m sure they’ll appreciate it and let the noise slide.

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Inside Real Estate: Drone etiquette and backyard chickens
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Inside Real Estate: Drone etiquette and backyard chickens
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Submit your questions for anything and everything about property life in Los Angeles County, be it from a homeowner, tenant, landlord, contractor, property manager, or real estate investor. If your question is selected, I’ll get to the bottom of it with the best advice for what it’s worth.
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